Ciao, bella Venezia.

Venezia-The magical City of Bridges, canals and Gondolas

Venice never quite seems real, but rather an ornate film set suspended on the water.“ – Frida Giannini

This is a very late post about our visit to Venice but really worth sharing. Let me start by sharing some photos that I took myself with my camera and share about our wonderful experience in this city .I had a secret wish after this holiday.

If I have the chance to choose another place to live, I would like to live in Venice…

Laundry time in Venezia

Venice, as I see it!

The first word that I have heard when we entered ” Veneto ” is Ciao and Prego. We had a quick stop to look for a Gelato shop , you see we can´t wait to have it.Me and my daughter are having fun looking out for signs if we are in Italy already so when we finally see the sign “Veneto” , we are super excited! She can´t stop saying “Ciao, bella Venezia!” of course, with an accent.I think they are lovely words, don´t they. Not like all the stiff German words that we speak everyday. Very appropriate for daily conversations with the locals, like Ciao Gelato, Prego Salami Pizza or Spritz, and yes, Grazie!

Walking through the city on water

Venice is incredible. Although you may have seen it in pictures, you can’t grasp how beautiful it is until you visit.

Gino D’Acampo

Our first sights of Venice were the speeding boats, the canals, and the architecture. The Grand Canal, the autobahn of Venice is busy.View from the train is just a normal port, docks, and a koleidoscope of parked cars and motorbikes. I need to pinch myself reminding me that all of what I am seeing is real. The architecture is sublime. The Gondolas are beautifully crafted. The stillness of the lagoons are far even better than the pictures.The magic starts when we walked through our first Bridge–Ponte della Constituzione.We call it the glass bridge because it seems like we are walking on glass, with fishes underneath.

Another colorful laundry day in Venice

In front of us is a rush of Venetian BaggagePorters, or the Portabagagli.They have this cart where they carry heavy luggages in their back for the tourists who decides to stay in the city of Venice.I heard the price can range to 50Euros per luggage and another 10Euros for other extras. I kinda ache when I see them. Those bags are heavy and needs to be carried through all those steps.Their job is to carry your trolley bags through the 400+ bridges, depends on the location.I only carried a backpack, my camera and water and yet I got tired of it. But these people need to earn their living and thrived on Tourists.

Only in Venice, A Serenade at 10 am?

When I seek another word for ‘music’, I never find any other word than ‘Venice’.- Friedrich Nietzsche

It´s hard to describe Venice in one word, but the word beautiful will do, in many many ways.It´s also complicated but very mysterious.Anyway, for me Venice is unique, eccentric, and unforgettable. Why?, I used all these adjectives because I think this place really deserve it. There are millions of articles and stories about this place also travel blogs written about it, but I guess you´ll never really understand it unless you see it with your own eyes. The moment we get out from the train in Sta. Lucia, the smell of Venice is quite different, it doesn´t stink at all as what I´ve read about.The Lagoons, the port, the boats, the crowds, and the hustle and bustle in “Rialto Bridge” is really amazing, plus everybody is just happy and smiling, at least people are not bothered by Corona anymore or at least they remove their masks while doing selfies.

There´s always a story to tell, tells the Godolier, probably I will sing as well.

We visited in times of Corona so we took it really slow, walking low key and opted to escape the crowds as much as possible.At least in the secret alleys where few people gathers, we can have all the photos we like.It only takes a few minutes then people would come out, our teritory is not ours anymore. But we can´t resist as well the charms of the grand Palazzo Ducale and St. Mark´s Basilica in the famous San Marco as well as the colorful island of Burano.We even found a garden, a little park but the playground were fenced. I guess it´s not our lucky day to play in the playground.

Transported into another time, another era but it´s really good to be lost.

A challenge though, finding the narrowest alley can be tricky , maybe yes, or maybe not, google maps might not work.But then if you managed to do that, then you are definitely enchanted by Venice. In the end, it´s okay to get lost.

The trouble is, walking in Venice becomes compulsive once you start. Just over the next bridge, you say, and then the next one beckons.

Daphne du Maurier

When I read the quote above, I knew that it explains exactly what I felt. The moment we started walking, we always ended up to these famous places, as if we are really destined to see it.It comes naturally like we don´t care.It´s crazy because when you walk in between the tiny streets,looking up the charming Venetian houses, it´s like a big labyrinth, a maze that you can only solve if you continue to walk, it´s actually the only way to know your bearings.

Riding a Gondola can be pricey, but definitely worth it

The Gondolas have their own charisma, that is really a fact. The thing is, you are not in a romantic movie, you are in Venice.Isn´t it amazing to see nowadays a boat being manually-driven? A boat which makes so little sound and you can´t hear a single motor roar? Watching them smoothly glide from the narrow canals and lagoons is really interesting. The Venezian masks and Gondolas were like a page in history and yet seeing them for real was like a time-travel for me. The romantic ambiance in this city is just so real and yes-unfiltered! Watching couples doing selfies always fits in every bridge, in every corner.

Where are the cars?

We parked our car in Tronchetto and we rode a train to go in Venice and at this point I still feel that we are in a normal city.It´s still amaze me that everything in Venice is navigated only by boat, water Taxis, Vaporettos and Gondolas. There are no cars, no bikes, no scooters, no train or bus.Rain or shine, winter or fog, any weather, people ride their boats and commute on water.

After all, Venice is best seen through the waters.

Many times during the day, I have seen an ambulance (in a boat form!) numerous times speeding through the Grand Canal and all the other boats are making way for it, just like in the normal highway and Autobahn. Surprisingly, water traffic is also real and was amazed that they also have speed limit .In general, vaporettos (water buses) and traditional wooden boats tend to take it slower than water taxis.

As far as colors are concerned, well Venice is a great pallette.The colors of Venice are very rustic, gold, and the houses along the canals looked old, rugged but it it just the way it is, since they are almost 2000 years old! Every little nook, quaint tiny windows where the Gondolier´s uniform hang is quite a magical sight to watch. There are no cars but you can see different boats . I have seen many abandoned houses which kind of looking creepy, but then I wondered why it was abandoned. The rent is so steep that the locals can´t afford it anymore or they are just driven out of it?Sad truth though…

Canal Grande seen from Rialto Bridge

Imagine living in one of these houses in front of the Grand Canal and witnessing the daily chaos everyday? But first, any day won´t be complete without “Gelato“.We found this little nook, totally forgot it´s name, but their Gelato were really good. I am not so fond of ice cream here in Germany but ironically I love Gelato.I´ve heard that most Italians prefer their Gelato as a late afternoon snack and after dinner treat.The person in a “Gelateria” serving it is called “Gelati”.

A sweet taste of Fragola Gelato

And why eating Gelato three times a day is like a dream for children, and adults too. Of course, we can´t say no to this region´s pride-Tiramisu!

A myriad of windows, canals and boats

Why every corner, every nook is different from the other?Many times I though I´ve already seen it, but then it´s just different from the others.

Tourists and locals going on along like an endless charade, a real life Opera. Inside the water bus, I stand beside an old lady with a little girl which I think at age of 10. They have been shopping,as I saw the plastic bags full of vegetables, fruits, and other grocery stuff. They both wear mask as we did. They are headed probably back home or might need to do another stop-over. Across me were a young couple, they speak Spanish and needed help with the camera, they wanted to make a selfie but couldn´t find a right angle.While the rest of us are busy clicking our cameras and admiring the houses by the Grand Canal, they are living their everyday errands.

I wonder if they are also amazed by how wonderful their city is? For them , a boat ride means doing things to be done, and for us yes, sightseeing, an exhausting time to see what´s need to be seen, collecting amount of photos and memories.

I am a lover of Architecture and in Venice, I have seen what I can handle, well almost, but I think I haven´t seen everything. My favourite so far was the Doges Palace. It´s the place where the ruling council resides. We had a tour of this Palazzo (thanks to the rain!) and I was totally even more amazed by it´s history and interiors. Grandeur is an understatement to describe this place. The bridges who connects houses, palace, gardens and people is an enigma to me up until now. Inscripted in the walls of the Palazzo Ducale is NVNQVAM DERELICTA, means “Never abandoned”.These words stands rightfully to Venice, considering how many siege it endured.

And if you look closely, some sights really have fascinating stories. I didn´t know that the Bridge of Sighs , the Ponte dei Sospiri connecting to the Palazzo Ducale to the New prisons over Rio di Palazzo has something interesting worth telling. It´s in this bridge were the prisoners have their last beautiful view of Venice before they go to their cells, as Giacomo Casanova tells in his memoirs. An old tradition also says that if a couple kiss in a gondola beneath the Bridge of Sighs in Venice at sunset while the church bells toll, they will be in love forever.

The Bridge of Sighs, Ponti dei Sospiri in Venice

Can´t get enough of Venice´s reflections on the water

I hope to see Venice once again, with it´s vibrant life, probably see it more in the nightime or in not so busy summer days, with its charm and less tourist drama.I spended 3 days in this city and yet I am still curious. My time was so short compared to this city´s time span-400 A.D! I think it´s impossible to truly understand Venice´s immense history and culture within a short timeframe…maybe in that time I would understand why the locals tend to always talk with their hands, why drinking Espresso is a golden time and why their masks seemed so alive.

The fantasy of Venezian masks

Time had passed so quickly….so there it goes, Venice, as I see it.I, not only love Venice but the Veneto region as well. It´s pretty vineyards,charming old medieval town landscapes, and of course, who can´t fall in love with the Dolomites?

Until then, Tschüss.

A very Frosty walk

The fast few days were cold over here in Bavaria and it´s in the forecast for us to have the first snow this weekend.The air is freezing cold, especially in the early mornings . As you can see from the photos, we had a bit of Frost.Good thing I already took my plants inside which are sensitive to frost.The garden is ugly,only my Mums and the `winterhart Silberdraht ( Calocephalus Drownii) and Olender stays unbothered by the cold. I don´t have the energy anymore to rake the fallen leaves once again. Let them turn into soil this time.

Yesterday I took my morning run and brave the cold, minus 5!I took a couple of short breaks and look around. Most trees are now leafless, withering.Standing in the middle of the forest where I usually run feels eerie, the silence is really something. The surroundings are bleak and grey.There´s nothing much really to admire these days.In a few weeks, I know that this place will all be covered in white, and yes…colder.

I used my iPhone to take these photos and I´m glad they turned out well.

Beauty in the cold
Another frosted leaves
Dead but not forgotten
Touch me not..

There´s an ongoing rendezvous over Corona-Lockdown over here in Germany, (again!). Cases of infections are rising again and public mobility for unvaccinated people is being monitored and controlled strictly. Impflicht (Vaccination Law) is now imposed and yes, everyday, there´s something new so I don´t really know what will happen tomorrow or next month. Christmas markets are cancelled but life goes on…

Good thing the Frost somehow cheered me up.

How are you guys doing ?

Until then, Tschüss.

Wordless Wednesday

Macro Monday

Silent Sunday

Life in Colour :There´s lot more Schwarz

Here´s more Black or Schwarz lovely things that I´ve seen in my world.Thank you lovely Jude.

And I dunno what did I do to make this photo but I find the effect not so bad.

And here´s the kind of rotten black-grey tints that I don´t really like…

Rotten fish I saw while jogging in the beach

How about taking a look in another color? perhaps in Blue or Orange?

When Suvannamacha fell in love with Hanuman

Mermaids and their catch of the day!

I have never been to Thailand, though I knew many friends who live there. It was a dream of me ( and still…) to go and visit there someday.But then, I had the chance to have a little glimpse of a Thai-inspired place in my homecountry, Philippines. It´s a fun theme park combined floating restaurant called-Isdaan. “Isdaan ” means Fishing village or a place to catch fish. As the name says, it´s really a place where you can have a fresh catch of fish or other seafoods you like and have it cooked the way you want, or order the dish you like to.

Aside from the food, I am totally amazed by their outdoor settings and ambiance. I love it. Looking at these photos made me wish to be there again with my family and not in this grey, cold weather.

Anyway, now this is not a post to promote this restaurant, though I would really recommend to anyone to check out this, just in case you have the chance to visit this place.Their food is really great and I would personally bring friends here. The reason : It´s a unique experience!

The giant Buddhas, both in red and whites, the gigantic Mermaids settled in a tropical sanctuary, huge monkeys, and other huge statues adorns the place. It is very colorful, pleasing to the eyes and really gave you a feel of seeing a bit of the colorful temples and scenery in Thailand. No wonder we called it Little Thailand! As I study the place more, I found out a love story as well.

Read on…

This giant Mermaid figure seemed to be depicting “ Suvannamacha“, a golden mermaid princess.She definitely looked like a princess. Her adornments and crown shows it all royalty. Suvannamaccha is popular in Thai folklore and is represented on small cloth streamers or framed pictures that are hung as luck-bringing charms in shops and houses throughout Thailand.

There´s not only 1 but more pieces that scattered through out the place. Also, of course, this place won´t be complete without Buddhas! I feel so little standing beside these Buddhas!

I have read that in Thai folklore, Suvannamacha, or a “golden Fish“, a mermaid Princess, tries to spoil the plans of the Hindu God and divine “Vanara” (or Monkey”) but then at the end she fell in love with him.Hanuman is the son of a monkey princess and the Wind God. This makes him the nephew of the green and red monkey kings of the forest. Hanuman is educated by the god Siva, who makes Hanuman invincible and able to transform himself into different forms.

In every corner, there is so much to see.Aside from the beautiful nature surrounding the floating restaurant, I enjoyed the face painting, boat rides, and of course, the food.This place is actually perfect for families, reunions and a colorful place for kids.

As for me, the sound of the gushing river and watching the fishes swimming by is enough to relieve the stress.The dancing coconuts, the pretty nipa huts, and the adorable figures made from terra cota.

Another unique aspect in this place is the “Tacsiyapo” wall. Tacsiyapo is a native local dialect in the Philippines means ” Shame on You!” It´s a stress-reliever ,more of a release your Anger -corner where you buy plates and cups to throw in a wall, and shout Tacsiyapo as you do it.

Look at all those broken pieces…I haven´t tried this one but I think it´s really unique aspect of this place.

Tacsiyapo wall in Isadaan Restaurant

So eating traditional Filipino dishes, served in floating hut, surrounded with Thai -inspired ambiance, settled in a tropical backgrounds–it´s actually the best of both worlds.

What would be your most unique dining experience?

Wordless Wednesday

Arabesque , The Patterns of Islamic Heritage

If there´s one thing that I can remember living in the middle east , aesthetically speaking is the designs and patterns I´ve seen almost everywhere. It is very evident, just like the painted houses here in Bavaria. You will eventually know that you are in a Muslim country.These geometric patterns of heritage appears in different shapes, tones, depth and multiplicity.The most cammon is the”Arabesque” design, modest and floral in forms which is my favourite.

It´s like a flower figure, with continous loops and this is a very important pattern in Islamic architecture .Unlike western art, Islamic art avoid figurative objects in order to avoid becoming objects of worship.

In Middle East, you will never see statues, or idols, only exquisite carvings and mosaic patterns , of course in different shapes and designs.Places that I go to check them out are in Mosques (or Masjid), praying halls, malls, shops, museums, and other function halls.My greatest souvenir is getting an arabic rug with this design, i really adore it.

Now let us see if you follow the Arabesque flower pattern in this gallery…how many would you find?

If you are curious, you might be interested to ask what is an Arabesque pattern…

I used them quite often as well in my mosaic paintings. They are series of repetitive elements in Islamic art, such as using geometrical floral designs, only you repeat them many times, countless in fact. The Arabesque in Islamic art is often used to symboloze the transcendent, indivisible, infinite nature of God.

In Italian, it´s called, “Arabesco“, meaning Arabic style.

Seen from Skylights of buildings

Everywhere you see, there´s the infinite patternns of designs and shapes.

Mosaic of different shapes, colors used in tilings and walls

Or what about showing it all to the whole building and it´s interiors? I guess one post is not enough to show all these grandeur.

What´s your favourite so far?

This post is inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge ‘174 : Shapes and Design

After the Rain pt.2

Here´s another sequel to my wanderings in my neighbourhood even when it´s pouring some rains.Running with slight rain is also one wonderful experience I have done from last week and yes, I am convinced that it can be done.Just like running when snowing! I love the nature itself and the mood after the showers captured in camera is quite different.

In my archives I saw some photos I took last Spring, just when the Clematis is in bloom, how lovely they looked, so fresh and pretty in pink.They can totally can make it to my Flower of the Day.Only the Mums in my garden are blooming this Autumn so actually not much flowering plants to see.

Pink Clematis after the Rains
FOTD ; Clematis after the Rain
Carpet of fallen leaves

This post is inspired by the wonderful Cee, for her FOTD; Flower of the Day Challenge and Terri´s Sunday Stills Challenge : Leaves have fallen from the Trees.

All photos are mine and taken by me.Appreciate the mention if ever you wanna use them.

Until then, Tschüss!